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Major overhaul of Indigenous spending

supplied by Office of Senator Scullion 23 January 2014

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major shake-up of Indigenous Affairs has been completed with more than $2 billion in Indigenousspecific funding and 1700 staff from across the Australian Government now consolidated in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator Nigel Scullion, said this was the most significant reform in Indigenous affairs in many years and reflects the Abbott Government’s commitment to improving the circumstances of first Australians,” the Minister said “Having these programmes and staff working from the peak public sector agency of the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet is much more than a symbolic move,” the Minister said. “It changes now put Indigenous

Indigenous Affairs Minister, Sen. Nigel Scullion with children.

Affairs at the very front and centre of Australian Government policy and programme implementation and will ensure better targeting of programmes to ensure measureable outcomes are achieved. “We can now dispense with expensive, time-consuming coordination machinery across multiple agencies, reduce red tape and focus on the Government’s key objectives of ensuring children go to school, adults go to work and the ordinary law of the land is observed. “The fact is that despite considerable expenditure there has been little, if any, progress in closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.” Aboriginal medical services have remained with the Department of Health. Native title policy, arts programmes and Aboriginal Legal Services stay with the AttorneyGeneral’s Department.

“With this huge administrative task now complete, we can set about reviewing and rationalising all these programmes to ensure that funding for Indigenous programmes delivers real outcomes,” Minister Scullion said. “These changes build on other significant moves within Indigenous Affairs, including the establishment of the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council and the review of Indigenous employment and training programmes, chaired by Andrew Forrest, which will report in April.” The Minister said these changes set the scene for a significant turnaround in Indigenous affairs service delivery. These changes are just the beginning. A list of Government programmes that have transferred to PM&C is available here: http://www.dpmc.gov.au/ indigenous_affairs/index.cfm

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Major overhaul of indigenous spending